Hull FC in 2021 featured both the sublime and the ridiculous. It’s never been any different…
…and it never will be. But rather than go into meltdown mode (again) after an eighth placed finish, our obligatory end of year article focuses on only the good times, and they were some. Honest.
The opening two rounds
Start as you mean to go on. For the second year running, Hull kicked off the season with an absolute bang. The opener against Huddersfield was a performance full of promise, with the side also flexing their muscles the week after against Salford. Everything Hull did back then was intense, solid, and professional. If only the memo extended beyond round two. There’s always next year.
The cup performance against Wigan was not only Hull’s best result of the season, but it sealed a semi final berth and felt extra sweet after what happened to Andre Savelio at the Pie Dome the week before. It was a display built on everything Brett Hodgson had installed into the Hull side early on. They were tough, they were resilient, and their defence was outstanding, but despite some team heroics, there was one individual who was on another level, and that was Chris Satae. His two tries turned both the game and a few heads. What a season he had. A wrecking ball, a cheat code, just sensational.
Return of fans
Watching on TV is absolutely shite and despite how bad the results or performances get, we’d all still rather be there in the flesh than sat on our armchairs. After 14-months locked out, the fans’ return against Catalans was therefore one of the best moments of the year, even if it was a little weird, and that Hull lost. Obvs. Still, getting to the ground, meeting mates, and belting out Old Faithful was bliss. We’ll never take it for granted again.
Sure, it was against the team that got relegated, but still to post 12-tries and 64-points at Leigh was one of the best days of the season. It was exactly the type of rugby we all want to see from Hull. It was fluent, it had flair, and it had finesse, but it was ruthless. Hull’s attack was nothing short of brilliant with the usual suspects having a hand in everything. That’s what we want more of. The three f’s, and not five drives with a kick to the corner.
Rag tag win
Going to contradict ourselves here, but the home win against Huddersfield was just as satisfying as the one before it – and that was Leigh away. It was as ugly as they get, and it was built on tough defence, true grit, and sheer determination, but given the circumstances, you could only applaud it. Hull, through Covid, injuries, and Combined Nations call ups, had thirteen players missing and were left with a rag-tag bunch of misfits, but at 0-10 down they rolled their sleeves up, toughed it out, and got the job done to win 17-10. Given some of the soft underbelly capitulations we’ve seen in recent years, the display deserved its praises, and the amount of effort put in was certainly appreciated.
Jake the Snake
The big fella Chris Satae may have cleaned up at the clubs Player of the Year awards, but there’s a reason Jake Connor was shortlisted for the Man of Steel. Making his move to fullback permanent, the Snake was sheer class from minute one. He chimed into the line to great effect all year and put tries on a plate for his outside backs. Whether through the boot, the drop of the shoulder, or the slick sleight of hand, Connor was an absolute joy to watch. Already one of the best players in this country, he’s only going to get better alongside Luke Gale, an exciting thought heading into a new season.